Welcome to the November newsletter from The Policy Observatory for 2017. We offer some links in this newsletter to new Briefing Papers, video available from our recent event series on the future of the economy in Aotearoa New Zealand, news on a new, funded forestry project and an upcoming event on Accident Compensation.

Permanent Forest Bond research

Senior Researcher Dr David Hall, along with collaborator Sam Lindsay, were recently awarded a $50,000 grant through Foundation North's Gulf Innovation Fund Together (GIFT) to work towards piloting a Permanent Forest Bond in the Hauraki Gulf catchment.

Soil erosion, native biodiversity and reducing net greenhouse gas emissions are challenges that can be addressed, in part, by tree planting. However, many landowners lack access to upfront capital to establish permanent forests on marginal land, even when this land use change would be preferred by landowners. The Permanent Forest Bond is a path-breaking “integrated impact bond”, which is built upon pay-for-performance contracts and delivers combined social and environmental impacts, including carbon sequestration, increased soil stability and regional job opportunities.

Foundation North’s grant will support David and Sam to identify sites for pilot schemes in the Hauraki Gulf area, to build a business case for the Permanent Forest Bond, and to develop accounting tools to manage the financial dimension. Science reporter Jamie Morton recently profiled the bond and its opportunities for the New Zealand Herald.

Fifty years from the Woodhouse Report: A celebration and assessment of ACC

In December 1967 the Woodhouse Report was released, recommending a no-fault accident compensation scheme for New Zealand. 50 years later, ACC remains operates largely intact, an uncommon feat amongst New Zealand public policy initiatives.

Join us for a symposium of ACC research and reflections on how the system has endured, and remaining challenges.

Monday December 11th, AUT City Campus

Please rsvp for updates: policyobservatory@aut.ac.nz

Briefing Papers 2017

The Briefing Papers website began in 2014 by Emeritus Professor Ian Shirley and continues with a new paper most weeks.

Environmental Problems? What Problems? By Ton Bührs

Ton Bührs argues for a systemic approach to identifying and reducing the human sources of environmental pressures and problems. Environmental problems are interrelated with all human behaviour and practices. Solving them does not mean policy tweaks while we continue with Business As Usual; it means integrating environmental thinking into all other policy areas.


The Zero Carbon Act. By John Lang

New Zealand's net carbon emissions have increased, not decreased, since 1990. In response to this, lobby group Generation Zero drafted a Zero Carbon Act, modelled on the UK's 2008 Climate Change Act. The aim is to set carbon targets and to require governments to meet them, with flexibility as to how they do this. The incoming government has expressed support for the concept but what exactly is it and why is it so important? London-based Kiwi John Lang makes the case for a Zero Carbon Act.


The Future of New Zealand Capitalism. By Brian Easton

When announcing which party New Zealand First would support in government, Winston Peters said capitalism has become more of a foe than a friend to many New Zealanders. Economist Brian Easton explores what Peters may have meant and what sorts of policy and thinking changes might be needed if we are to change course.


The Challenges Ahead for the New Government. By Ian Shirley

A comprehensive overview of the state of the country has to be wider than the pre-election economic and fiscal update, argues Ian Shirley. In this paper Ian outlines the range and depth of challenges the new government faces – economic, social and environmental.


Seeds or bubbles video

On 20th July 2017, as part of an event series chaired by AUT Adjunct Professor Rod Oram, The Policy Observatory hosted the conversation ‘Seeds or Bubbles? Investing in the Future of Aotearoa New Zealand’. The speakers included Sir Stephen Tindall of The Warehouse and The Tindall Foundation; Rangimarie Hunia of Whai Maia, the social investment wing of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei; Mary Quin, former head of Callaghan Innovation; and Joshua Vial, founder of Enspiral Network. The full video, as well as excerpts, can be viewed here:


A short summary of the ideas canvassed by the speakers is here: https://thepolicyobservatory.aut.ac.nz/news/seeds-or-bubbles-investing-in-the-future-of-aotearoa-new-zealand

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